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05/02/2015

Celebrate - "Rhumb Line"

RHUMB LINE by Jay AilworthOur course line zigs and zags going here and there,With the winds contrary and almost never fair.We take what is given riding the wind like an airborne seed,From this particular bondage we wish to be freed.When the change comes it is with little fan fare,Our course changing by the barest width of a hair.With the shift the wind begins to rise,The first breath of the trades a pleasant surprise.Days of endless wandering have ended and the die is cast,Celebrate is dead on course and sailing fast.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


05/02/2015

Celebrate - "Celestial Transition"

CELESTIAL TRANSITION by Jay AilworthI came on deck and looked toward the bow,My eyes went wide and my lips let loose a whispered wow!The ocean ahead bathed in a silvery glow,Framed in clouds a full moon sinking toward the ocean below.The waves sparkled like sequins set into lace,I had to smile as I looked the man full in the face.He seemed a little sad and I wondered why,Then over my shoulder I noticed the eastern sky.His majestic aura was being tainted,As he saw morning colors being painted.His aura now not nearly so bright,Knowing he would lose this fight.Like a child who has stayed up too late,With a small moan and a whisper resigned to his fate.Finally below the horizon he is put to bed,And the sun dawns and raises its sleepy head.. read more...


04/02/2015

Ayama - PANAMA CANAL TRANSIT

Kristofer and Stefan had to work hard on Hugur to fix her in time to be back in the water for the scheduled 3.30 pm departure.It had been an epic for them with parts not arriving, only to be found in a cupboard in the marina office, raiding the scrap for a piece and going through the garbage to retrieve a piece of hose.They made it and Hugur was back in the water at midday. 8 of us left Shelter Bay Marina, motored across the shipping lanes and dropped anchor to wait for the advisors who were joining each yacht.ETA was 17.30 and we had to have a good meal ready for them.Moses arrived about 6.30 pm and there was no rush as our time for the Gatun Lock was delayed.As we approached the brightly lit locks Moses decided he wanted his supper and we all hoped he was a fast eater! We nested up. read more...


04/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 393; Auto Pilot Shuts Off & Causes Whisker Pole to Break; Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One year ago today: "Day 31; Dingy Wipe Out; Monday, February 3, 2014. This morning we got in the dingy and proceeded a half mile along the very rocky sea shore, in the lee and east side of Isla San Jose. The tide was going out and what was a small beach the night before was becoming a huge beach. Just before we got to the shore, we had to dodge an underwater rock that was becoming visible as the 17 foot tide gushed out. Then about 50 yards from shore we killed the dingy motor and raised the shaft, not knowing how deep it was. The water was not clear due to the massive tidal action. Joel and I were paddling in when a swell turned into a 3 foot breaking wave. Just before we started riding the crest, I told Joel that we're going to flip. He confidently replied that we were not. A few. read more...


04/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 392; Three Months Exactly Until We're Home; Still Sailing; We Reach the Half Way Point to Salvador; & See Green Flash No. 38; Monday, February 2, 2015

Starting today I'm adding a 'back in time' synopsis of the log on the same date a year ago. In this instance, on February 2, 2014, exactly a year ago today, we "Day 30; Departed Panama City at 9:35 AM today, en route to the Las Perlas Islands." Wow! What a difference ayear makes!*****************************************Today marks 3 months until we'll be home. We're scheduled to arrive at the Boca Ciega Yacht Club T-Dock at 12 noon on Saturday, May 2nd. Janet is throwing a welcome home party for us, like the one she threw when we left. Mike Mogavaro will be helping her, along with others. *****************************************At 5:55 AM the almost full moon sets on the starboard bow horizon. Large and orange, according to Jeanine. I relieve Jeanine at 6:15 AM. The wind is 13/14 knots. read more...


04/02/2015

Nexus - Good sailing, but slowing the boat to time our arrival for Friday am.

We've had great winds and good sailing the last day or so, but we've done some calculations and decided to slow the boat down so we didn't arrive in the middle of the night and get Rally Control out on the streets of Salvador at a dangerous time of night. We switched to our smaller gennaker, which took about .5-1kt boat speed off, hopefully timing our arrival to first light on Friday. Of course we can't control the weather, but we'll do the best we can. We're not sure about the others in our group, some seem to be speeding on ahead and some hanging back with us, but it should be easier to arrive in daylight with a relatively complicated Mediterranean Mooring arrangement on the dock which requires dock side assistance with lines. We're having a nice time sailing together, we had our. read more...


02/02/2015

Nexus - Marlin on!

Wow....out of desperation I put a large plug with a double hook on one of our lines this afternoon since we've had no luck and I thought it would make lots of commotion and attract a fish. About 7pm the reel started screaming and took out half of the line on one of our large reels in one continuous smoking run. We were pouring water on the reel to cool it. We got the sails down and boat stopped and drifted with the motors running. The line sounded straight down off the back of the boat and pulled hard for 20-30minutes and we made no progress pulling it in with Finnbar fighting hard on the reel the whole time. Then the fish started to surface but gave back no line and kept pulling. We were sure it was tired and because it sounded we hoped it was a nice tuna! However 5 minutes later the. read more...


03/02/2015

Celebrate - "Capturing Zephyrs"

CAPTURING ZEPHYRS by Jay AilworthAnyone can sail with the wind blowing hard,But true skill is tested when dealt the light air card.A broad reach can be the toughest sail set of all,Constantly wary of a luff about to stall.The kite pumps a living breathing lung,A symphony of sound being sung.Maybe a gently wheezing ruffle, kerpuflle, kerflap,Then out of no where a mast shuddering, brutal jarring snap.Now is when you need all your sailing skill,Doing whatever it takes to get the spinnaker to puff and fill.Things can get heavy when the wind goes light,It is not always so easy flying a kite.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


03/02/2015

Celebrate - "Colors of Morning"

COLORS OF MORNING by Jay AilworthOverhead at sunrise dark and foreboding storm clouds grew,Turning the sea gun metal gray from royal blue.A placid sea no longer at rest,White caps foaming off each new crest.Astern the sun and clouds play hide and seek,While off to starboard a rainbow glows amid a squalls distant peak.A spectral aura made of rain and air,A simple change in the light and it is no longer there.Soon the rain and clouds drift away,Leaving behind sunshine and wind swept spray.So begins another watch on this churning southern ocean,Feeling as though I am under the spell of a spiritual love potion.. read more...


01/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 390; A Slow Day Sailing and Another Boring Log; Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let me address the 'boring log' comment in the subject line first. The sail from Cape Town to St. Helena and then from St. Helena to Salvador, Brazil is so pleasant that nothing is breaking on the boat; we're not being pummeled by big waves and high winds; we're not running out of food, coke or beer; and other than catching a few fish, seeing a Sperm Whale, seeing our first blue sunrise flash,visiting St. Helena including Napoleon's homes and tomb; and swimming with Whale Sharks, not much is going on so there's not much to report. Hopefully when we get to Brazil there will be lots to report; like Carnival and the latest in swim suit fashions. Today is the last day in January. Up at 5:53 AM and I relieve Jeanine at 6:20 AM. The wind 10/12 knots and we're sailing at 5.4 knots thru the. read more...


02/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 391; We Have Two Fish Stories To Tell Today; Sunday, February 1, 2015

I relieved Jeanine at 6:12 AM. At 6:20 AM, while it is still pitch black out (its 6:20 AM St. Helena Start Time but really 5:20 AM local time), our starboard hand line hooked a fish. I first knew a fish had hit the hand line because I heard a loud bang, like someone hitting a metal garbage can lid with a hammer, once. We have a coke can tied to each hand line so that it makes a noise when the line is hit. I shined my flashlight on the spool and it was pulled to the stern stanchion in the cockpit, which I thought was impossible, because it shouldn't have been able to move from where we had it attached. I immediately grabbed the small diameter rope line (not fishing line) and started pulling it into the boat. No way was I going to reel it in. Whatever I had was giving me quite a fight.. read more...


02/02/2015

Nexus - Nice sailing days

We've had variable winds but nice sailing these last two days. A few squalls have come by which sometimes force us to take our 15kt Gennaker down for a while, but most of them we've been able to ride out downwind without exceeding her limits. Still relatively slow going but better than before. We've had no luck fishing...even with lures that have caught reliably in other oceans so we're perplexed and have turned our attention to learning Cribbage! We have 560nm to go...and will probably arrive in the Thursday or Friday time frame depending on the winds. We're becoming a bit more spread out since NDS Darwin decided to motor last night while the three of us sailed gennakers slowly around squallsin different directions, but we can still talk by VHF so far, which is nice. We're sure looking. read more...


02/02/2015

Celebrate - "An X Marks the Spot"

AN X MARKS THE SPOT by Jay AilworthWith as many miles to come as are gone,The special X to mark that spot on our chart is drawn.In flight it is called the point of no return,A sailor sees it as beginning the second half of a sea sojourn.The distant shore is no longer so far,It calls to my heart like the rising of the morning star.The journey will end in a few days time,A celebration to be enjoyed with an umbrella drink garnished with lime.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


02/02/2015

Celebrate - "Miles to Go"

MILES TO GO by Jay AilworthThe state of our fuel is becoming a concern,With no wind and only so much to burn.Our first tank finally bottomed out in the red,Into the engine's hungry maw it had been fed.The distant shore is way beyond our range,Our only hope is for the wind to change.We are resigned to trust in our fate,With any luck at all the wind will not be too late.For now we continue on our merry way,Listening to the diesel drone day by day.With 996 miles to our port of call,I am reminded of a story about bottles of beer on the wall.Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


01/02/2015

Free & BrEasy - Toast to the Slow Boats

We are now 6 days out of St Helena on the 1960 mile passage to Salvador, Brazil. There was little or no wind for the first 3 days and nights so the motor was growling continuously, before light trade winds arrived only to go again! The metal monster has become our constant friend, at least until the diesel runs out! We have all caught ourselves staring out into the blue yonder, lost in our memories of our short but eventful stay on St Helena. We were taken on a tour of the Island by Robert Peters, a sprightly 78 year old 'saint'. The inhabitants of St Helena call themselves 'saints' although for a population of 4000 there appear to be a lot of churches so perhaps it's a religious accolade as well! The crews of Merlin and Free & Breasy squeezed into Robert's rickety pickup and we. read more...


01/02/2015

American Spirit II - Day 390; A Slow Day Sailing and Another Boring Log; Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let me address the 'boring log' comment in the subject line first. The sail from Cape Town to St. Helena and then from St. Helena to Salvador, Brazil is so pleasant that nothing is breaking on the boat; we're not being pummeled by big waves and high winds; we're not running out of food, coke or beer; and other than catching a few fish, seeing a Sperm Whale, seeing our first blue sunrise flash,visiting St. Helena including Napoleon's homes and tomb; and swimming with Whale Sharks, not much is going on so there's not much to report. Hopefully when we get to Brazil there will be lots to report; like Carnival. Today is the last day in January. Up at 5:53 AM and I relieve Jeanine at 6:20 AM. The wind 10/12 knots and we're sailing at 5.4 knots thru the water and 5.8 knots over the land. Its. read more...


01/02/2015

Allegro - DOMINGO, 25 DE JANEIRO DE 2015

As Ilhas de San Blas são mais de 300, espalhadas ao longo da costa nordeste do Panamá. Segundo o guia, são únicas no Mundo em vários aspectos. Pertencem ao Panamá, mas são administradas pela tribo indígena dos Índios Guna, que, de todas as tribos das Américas, são os que melhor preservaram a sua cultura e tradição. Têm zonas de floresta virgem intocada ainda, e são um local de cruzeiros de veleiros de uma beleza incrível.As ilhas e o território adjacente constituem a Guna Yala. Os Gunas não dividem a terra em propriedades individuais. Aceitam os estrangeiros que os visitam, mas proíbem que se instalem em permanência, ou que casem com Gunas. Os estrangeiros não podem comprar terras ou investir na Guna Yala, embora sejam aceites donativos. Os Guna são de estatura pequena, bem. read more...


31/01/2015

Sweet Pearl - St.Helena --> Ascension - 6. Tag - Nicht mehr lang

So wie es aussieht, werden wir am Montag morgen früh ankommen; mal hoffen dass das so bleibt. Wir freuen uns, auch wenn die Fahrt bis jetzt ganz angenehm war. Wir verbringen die meiste Zeit mit Lesen und das ist gut so. Liebe Grüsse, Tom. read more...


Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
Juno - Images of San Blas
31/01/2015

Juno - Glorious San Blas

After 24 hours of gale force winds and heavy seas, we sail into flat water inside the barrier reef on the eastern approach to the San Blas archipelago. It is a moonless night and pitch black as we ghost through the water, relying solely on our charts to guide us through the channel towards Holandes Cays, a small atoll surrounded by a complex reef system. We have heard that 6 boats have been lost here since Christmas so we check our pilotage carefully, silent in the cockpit, straining our senses to see or hear something in the inky black night.The San Blas Islands, off the coast of Panama, are notoriously poorly charted and under normal circumstances we wouldn’t attempt a night-time entry. However on the SSB radio net today we discuss this with other members of the World ARC fleet and one. read more...


31/01/2015

American Spirit II - Day 389; A Great Day of Sailing; We Enter Into a New Time Zone; & See Our First AIS Contact Since S.t. Helena; Friday, January 30, 2015

Around 4:00 AM this morning we cross 15 degrees West Longitude; and thereby enter into another time zone. However, we're not changing our watches and clocks on board as we're on 'St. Helena Start Time.' That way, all the boats are on the same time for the morning and evening communication nets. Otherwise, boats would be spread over 2 time zones and could be spread over 3. Up at 6:30 AM. I 'slept in' because Jeanine didn't wake me. The wind is 8 knots and we're motoring at 5.4 knots thru the water and 6.0 knots over the land. At 6:47 AM I roll the mainsail out. Now we're motor sailing. Go figure. The sun rises at 6:50 AM. With clouds on the horizon, there is no green flash. At 7:31 AM I turn the engine off and wake Joel. Its time to roll the spinnaker out again. The spinnaker is rolled up. read more...


31/01/2015

Nexus - Half Way to Salvador Bahia!

We celebrated our half way point to Salvador Bahia last night, with lamb chops, home made bread and wine for dinner! We crossed the 1000nm mark right at dinner time and were rewarded with the wind returning and pulling out the sails after a day of motoring. It's great to have a quiet boat again even if it is slow. We also marked the event by launching a "message in a bottle" from the entire crew, using a special kit given to us by our wonderful nieces and nephews when we left Georgetown! Hopefully someone will recover it someday and send us a note so we can mark it's travels! We had some fishing excitement yesterday also, we hooked a large Wahoo who fought Finnbar for about 15 minutes, pulling and jumping around like a haywire torpedo. He eventually freed himself, and when we pulled the. read more...


30/01/2015

American Spirit II - Day 388; Long Day Motoring; the Auto Pilot Cuts Off, Again; the Generator Stopps Working; and We See a Small Green Flash (No. 37); Thursday, January 29, 2015

Up at 6:00 AM; then showered and shaved. Relieved Jeanine at 6:25 AM. Clouds on the horizon so it doesn't look good for a green flash sunrise. We'll see.The sun rises at 6:47 AM. An above average sunrise, but no green flash due to clouds. As usual, I take pictures of the sunrise. I do the same for each sun set. I have a LOT of sun rise and sun set pictures. Go figure. At 8:02 AM the wind is 4 knots directly astern of us; and we're motoring at 5.7 knots thru the water and 6.0 knots over the land. Its sunny and hot. The sun is like a blow torch, even low in the skyearly in the morning. The bimini and dodger offer no protection, yet, due to its low angle. I'm wearing shorts and no shirt. At 8:26 AM the auto pilot shuts off and goes to 'standby.' Aggravating. I 'catch' one of the wheels. read more...


30/01/2015

Celebrate - "A Kid From Kansas"

A KID FROM KANSAS by Jay AilworthI first went to sea as a boy of nineteenCoast Guard boot camp made me military lean.For 10 months I engaged in battles off some Southeast Asian land,On my return I found I had become a man.The kid from Kansas now had the sea in his veins,There would be no going back to those Midwestern plains.Now I go sailing whenever I am able,Proud to carry the "Rag Bagger" label.I have sailed the Caribbean before the mast carried on the wind on tall ships,And have witnessed the transition to navigation by micro chips.From San Francisco, to Bangkok, Tahiti and Hong Kong I have roamed the Pacific,of Mexico to Canada too many places to be specific.Now the time has come to explore the Atlantic side,So many places to see, so little time, it is very difficult to decide.A. read more...


30/01/2015

Ayama - SHELTER BAY PANAMA

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30/01/2015

Nexus - Slow...Slow...Slow day

Well that's our first 100nm day, and our lesson in patience is continuing. We're running the motor for a while today to charge the batteries and regroup a little with the others as we've spread out over the night with some motor sailing and some just sailing along slowly following the wind at different times. Another beautiful day though and we're still fishing but not catching yet. However we are playing dominoes, reading and listening to Eric Clapton and AC/DC on the stereo, so it's not all bed. Yesterday, as we were slowly sailing along,I was tempted to launch the dingy and run over to NDS Darwin to see if they had any Gray Poupon,but they were just a little too far away.Russ and Laurie on NEXUS 10:40 01/30/2015 at 13 12.3'S;20 39.8'W. read more...


30/01/2015

Celebrate - "The Siren's Call"

THE SIREN'S CALL by Jay AilworthIt used to be ships were made of wood and men of steel,They navigated the oceans less by science and more by feel.Now we sail boats of carbon and fiberglass,And many a sailor has learned the arcane skills in a sailing academy class.In sudden squalls and violent storms the ships were torn, and tossed,While men fighting the tempest were swept overboard and lost.The oceans still delivers the storms as it did back then,But now our weather fax and gribs tell us where and when.Storms were not all that could bring a ship to grief,Many found their doom on an uncharted mid ocean reef.No longer do we chart our course by the southern cross or northern pole star,Electronic chart plotters and GPS point out each reef, island or shore near and far.While our differences. read more...


29/01/2015

Sweet Pearl - St.Helena --> Ascension - 4. Tag - Langsam, aber sicher

Es geht langsam, aber sicher voran. Morgen sollten wir in der Hälfte sein und dann dauert es auch schon nicht mehr lange. Heute haben wir seit langem mal wieder geangelt, aber bis jetzt hat nichts angebissen. Die Sonne scheint, es hat fast keine Wolken und der Sternenhimmel in der Nacht ist wunderschön. Cheers, Tom. read more...


29/01/2015

Nexus - A Lesson in Patience

The wind left us for a while last night, dropping to less than 8kts. For different reasons we were mostly all awake in the middle of the night, so we took the sail down and motored for a while. We put her back out this morning when the wind seemed to return but soon dropped to 8-11kts from dead aft, where it stayed all day. We sailed 3-5kts ALL DAY today. It was a beautiful day, with music on the stereo, and surprisingly, NEXUS sails beautifully at 4kts in calm seas, just steadily plodding along. We're in a small group with Alpheratz, NDS Darwin, Ghost and NEXUS. Tim called over this morning to ask where we had gone, and we told him we slowly motored away last night, he put his motor on to re-group with the rest of us and put his sails back out to plod along. When he called Alpheratz to. read more...


29/01/2015

American Spirit II - Day 387; Still Motoring and We Record Our 5th Green Flash Sunrise (No. 35 Overall); and a Green Flash Sunset (No. 36); Wednesday, January 28,2015

Up at 5:50 AM for my 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM watch. Conditions are good for a sunrise green or blue flash, so Jeanine stays up with me instead of going to bed like she normally does after her 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM watch. I put a fish line in the water; and at 6:20 AM I wake Joel to watch the sunrise.I'm only waking him if I think the conditions for a green or blue sunrise flash are good. At 6:27 AM we get a hit on the fishing line in the water. A small fish; another Mahi Mahi. Since we're waiting for the sun to rise, we ignore the fish and concentrate on watching the sunrise. At 6:30 AM the sun rises, and Joel sees a large green flash, maybe the best he's seen on this trip. I think I see some blue in the flash, as does Jeanine; but since we can't agree together its green or blue, I'm calling it. read more...


29/01/2015

Celebrate - "On Watch"

ON WATCH by Jay AilworthThe ocean waves roll endlessly under the boat's keel,A nice easy ride with barely a heel.We glide seamlessly over the Earth's trackless faceThe view never changes, we could be sailing in place.Clouds white and puffy soar overhead,While the off watch crew is below in bed. I spend this special time alone at the wheel,It is difficult to put into words the way that I feel.If I could carry a tune perhaps I would sing,I so love sailing with a kite on two pieces of string!Until next time...Charlie, Cathy & Jay. read more...


29/01/2015

Exocet Strike - Shelter Bay Marina

Arrived yesterday in Shelter Bay Marina, crossingall the traffic in and out of the canal, busy anchorage, not too much traffic,fortunately. Very tight spot in the marina, only a small scratch, shouldn't be toodifficult to repair. The marina is on the site of the Fort Sherman US Marinesbarracks, not in use since 1999 when the US relinquished control of the canal.Lots of derelict buildings, some look almost new.   Today we had the admeasurer on board to check ourcapability to transit the canal, very nice chap, thorough but friendly, allok.  Next trying to find a fitting for the watermaker, no luck, wasted acouple of hours trying. Managed to change the impeller on the main enginebefore heading off at 1300 to visit the Gatun Locks, where we pass through onSunday evening. The. read more...


29/01/2015

GarliX - Tag 19 Tieralarm… trotzdem ein guter Ort zum Verweilen

Portobelo wurde 1502 von Kolumbus bei seiner vierten Reise entdeckt und als „schoener Hafen“ benannt (katalanisch porto belo). Waehrend der spanischen Kolonialzeit wurde der Hafen von umfangreichen Festungsanlagen beschützt, die noch heute (schlecht) erhalten sind. Sie gehören zu den bedrohten UNESCO Weltkulturerbestätten. Ab 1561 segelte die spanische Silberflotte jeden August von Spanien zu diesem Hafen, was  Piraten anlockte. Hier starb der englische Sir Francis Drake, während er versuchte, den Hafen zu erobern und zu plündern. Sir Francis Drake sind wir jetzt schon mehrmals auf unserer Reise begegnet - natürlich in Plymouth - hier hoch verehrt. Dann in La Coruna, Bayona, Vigo und jetzt hier.Wir haben uns einen Tag „weggestohlen“ - sind noch mal hier geblieben in dieser. read more...


GarliX - Tag 19 Tieralarm… trotzdem ein guter Ort zum Verweilen
GarliX - Tag 19 Tieralarm… trotzdem ein guter Ort zum Verweilen
28/01/2015

Aretha - Next Stop. Panama Canal

Whistle Stop update.Yesterday was spent in Porvenir - another stunningly beautiful San Blas Island with an airstrip. You have to walk across the runway to get to the shop which sells beer, pepsi, water and crisps. No health and safety - just check in the sky that no planes are landing or taking off! The afternoon spent with a few beers with Makena’s crew (Makena is a brand new 62 foot Cat - just huge) and Pentagram followed by supper on Makena.Today was a 50 mile sail to Portobello. Packed with history - this is the port the Spanish used to ship gold and silver from S America back to Seville. There is an old fort here, Sir Francis Drake has history here too which we will discover shortly.Fish going nuts jumping all around us.Off to explore ashore now before heading to Shelter Bay. read more...


28/01/2015

American Spirit II - Day 386; We See Our First Sunrise Blue Flash; & Our Whale Shark Pictures Are a Big Hit on the Web and Social Media; Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Up at 5:50 AM. Conditions are good for a sunrise green flash; and at 6:15 AM the sun rises and Jeanine and I see something we've never seen before - a magnificent blue flash! Actually, a double flash. The first lasts 3 seconds and the second 1-2 seconds. More like a light bulb going off than a flash. The upper third of the sun is painted blue. Joel is down below sleeping, but hears our elation from the cockpit. At 6:38 AM the wind is 8 knots and we're moving at 4.4 knots thru the water and 4.7 knots over the land. Not great, but at least we're not motoring...yet.At 8:00 AM the wind is 8 knots and we're moving at 4.1 knots thru the water and 4.1 knots over the land; and our COG (Course Over Ground) is 269 degrees. At 8:28 AM I hear St. Helena radio talking to a boat. The island is 128. read more...


28/01/2015

Juno - Santa Marta to San Blas guest written by Sarah Rose

When asked to write a guest blog I wanted to try and find a theme to hang it on – that hasn’t really worked, but perhaps this hotchpotch is a fairer representation of a novice sailor thrown into a completely new experience. Firstly an update on our progress...Arriving in San Blas in pitch black on Tuesday night was both exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. This magical archipelago just off the Panamanian coast has not been officially well surveyed which means the available charts are lacking in detail and not to be relied upon. Approaching any relatively shallow land mass/reef area in daylight needs to be handled with extreme caution but throw darkness, no prior knowledge of the area and no clear markers into the mix – and it becomes extremely nerve wracking. Anyway we made it –. read more...


Juno - Santa Marta to San Blas guest written by Sarah Rose
Juno - Santa Marta to San Blas guest written by Sarah Rose
28/01/2015

Folie a Deux - Do you believe in Green Flashes? Then how about Blue Flashes?

Blue FlashesGreen flashes are rather rare phenomena that occur just as the sun sets [or rises] turning just the upper part of the sun green, but an even rarer occurrence is a blue flash, which is basically the same thing as a green flash, but it’s blue.To understand how a blue flash works you need to know how a green flash works:first off the flash is created because the sun’s actual position on the horizon is lower than it appears as a result of light bending when it enters the atmosphere.Violet and blue light rays having short wave lengths are bent more than the longer wave-length yellow, orange and red light rays.Green rays are intermediate in length and are bent at an intermediate angle.Therefore you see the green sunrays between red and blue, though in reality, these colors overlap,. read more...


28/01/2015

Nexus - Light wind but nice day...1,300nm to go.

Light winds today, but very nice weather and calm seas, with 1300nm to go! It was a calm night sailing, but we saw Alpharatz and Ghost close their distance to us nicely, and NDS Darwin pull slightly ahead overnight. We're going almost dead downwind and I think they have more sail area out than our Asymmetric has. which helps them along...great sailing guys! We're looking at tweaking our rig a bit to see if we can wring another half knot out of our Asymmetric and try to keep up, but these light winds keep you on your toes to boat moving nicely. Hopefully we'll get some 15kt periods back this afternoon and make up some ground! We had a bit of excitement on the fishing front this morning, with three simultaneous reels going off. Unfortunately we were not able to board any of them, one broke. read more...


28/01/2015

Luna Quest - 27 January, 2015

Noon Position: 9.22N 79.57WDaily Run: 75 milesDestination: Christobel, Colon, PanamaThe San Blas islands are relatively unspoilt as access can only be had by boat and none of the islands are big enough to justify setting up any kind of commerce. They can all be walked round in a couple of hours and many have extensive reefs surrounding them with the occasional yacht wrecked high and dry. Nevertheless, yachties are quite numerous, anchoring off here and there, while the winds never seem to impose any kind of threat. Only El Porvenir has an airstrip and that is where one can check into Panama (immigration) although the island itself is tiny with a few fishing families living on it. Our stay, alas, could not be extended and at 5pm on Monday, we left El Porvenir to make for Colon, the town. read more...


27/01/2015

GarliX - Day 18 San Blas - ein paar Fotoeindrücke… und weiter geht’s

Die Wegbeschreibung zum Einklarierungshafen Porvenir in San Blas könnte lauten… Insel rechts lassen und links die zwei Wracks der Segelboote. Klingt schon etwas gruselig. Es ist abenteuerlich sich in diesen Gewässern zwischen den Inseln vorwärts zu bewegen. Wir wurden von unseren Navionics - Karten nicht enttäuscht, haben aber grundsätzlich mit I-Sailor kontrolliert und Hanna war vorne im „Riff - Ausguck“. Dank der Riffs wurde wir in eine - für uns - völlig neue Unterwasserwelt eingeführt. Wenn auch nur mit Schnorchel und Brille - war es doch so, als wenn wir im bunten Aquarium tauchen. Aber diese Landschaft - egal ob Ober- oder Unterwasser ist auch sehr belastet durch unseren Zivilisationsmüll. Überall liegen Plastikflaschen und komischerweise einzelne Schuhe umher! In diesen. read more...


27/01/2015

American Spirit II - Day 384; Our Last Full Day on St. Helena; We Go Swimming with a Whale Shark One More Time; & How St. Helena Got Its Name; Sunday, January 25, 2015

St. Helena was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Joao da Nova Castella on May 21, 1502; and was named after the mother of the Emperor Constantine. Her name was...Helena; and her birthday, you guessed it, was on May 21. Up at 8:00 AM. Coffee and tea.Breakfast at 10:00 AM: scrambled eggs; cut up spiced potato; fruit cocktail; and brown bread. For Joel and me. Jeanine had yogurt and granola. We turned on the generator to charge batteries and made water for 3 hours. Joel transferred pictures from his camera and mine to his computer so we can send some to the our rally web site later today. We took the water taxi into the wharf at 11:40 AM, along with one empty jerry can that we had forgotten to have filled with diesel yesterday. When we got to the dock I asked our whale shark tour guide. read more...


GarliX - Day 18 San Blas - ein paar Fotoeindrücke… und weiter geht’s
GarliX - Day 18 San Blas - ein paar Fotoeindrücke… und weiter geht’s
27/01/2015

American Spirit II - Day 385; We Leave St. Helena; Have a Great Day of Sailing; Saphir Catches a 40 Kilo White Marlin; and We See Green Flash No. 34; Monday, January 26, 2015

We get up, and have a coffee and tea;start the engine at 7:57 AM; slip the yellow mooring buoy and head out of the St. Helena anchorage towards Salvador, Brazil 1,900 nautical miles away (2,185 statue miles). Adela leaves ahead of us at 8:00 AM. We roll the mainsail out and are motor sailing. St. Helena has been one of the best stops on our circumnavigation, and one the airport is finished be constructed, it will be accessible by plane instead of now, just by ship or boat. At 8:10 AM we pass thru an area where dolphins have been feasting on large fish. These 'large' fish have been jumping 3-5 feet out of the water trying to escape the pod of dolphin chasing them. The wind is 2 knots as we're in the lee of the island. 'Lee of the island' means we're down wind of the cliffs so the wind. read more...


27/01/2015

Sweet Pearl - St.Helena --> Ascension - 2. Tag - Auf und los

Gestern haben wir das überraschend wundervolle St.Helena hinter uns gelassen und sind jetzt auf nach Ascension (700 Seemeilen und mindestens 6 Tage, wenn nicht 7, 8 oder 9 Tage). Es hat sehr wenig Wind und das soll auch so bleiben, aber die Hoffnung, die gute alte Hoffnung, stirbt zuletzt. Alles ist gut an Bord und wir geniessen die Aussicht mit dem schönen blauen Wasser - weil das Wasser ist doch mehr blau als grün! Ciao, Tom. read more...